"Appointment confusion !"

About: Hereford County Hospital

I referred by my GP for a max two week wait appointment. I was to ring the hospital 24 hours after my GP appointment, to ensure that my details had been received at the hospital and to confirm my appointment time. It was confirmed for a specific date, time and consultant and two days later, I received a letter reinforcing this. I attended the clinic on the given date at the allocated time, showed the receptionist my letter. She tapped on her key board, tapped some more....evidently becoming more flustered as the queue behind me grew longer. " Finally, she looked up and shouted to a colleague ....somewhere in another room...."we've got another one here for max fax who isn't on the lists" . I was then told that my appointment was the following Monday at a different time. I asked for my letter and pointed out that the appointment time allocated to me, according to my correspondence (and previous phone call) was that very day (Friday) at 9 am. I was frowned at and treated like I was an awkward customer......my fault that I was attending for an appointment that was clearly typed on an appointment letter and I was there, on time, expecting to see a consultant. To cut to the chase, I was told...rather like a scolded child, to take a seat whilst they found out what was going on. I suggested that they contacted the secretary who had signed the letter, to be told "I dont even know what she's doing sending letters out anyway"! Some time later, I was approached by a junior sister, with my letter....she handed it back to me and said that my appointment was on the following Monday...so again I pointed out that both the phone conversation that I had with the hospital and the correspondence that I had from the hospital (in my hand in black and white) stated that my appointment was for the day and time that I had attended. At this point, I have to say, my stubborness kicked in and I told the nurse that I wasn't going to go anywhere until I saw some one. I wasn't available the following week, my appoinment time was clearly stated on the letter, this wasn't my fault, I had taken the morning off work (unpaid) to attend and it was a two week maximum (cancer related) referral. To be fair....I was seen by a consultant that morning who tagged me into his clinic, and for which I was extremely grateful as I appreciate that all were very busy. So, mixed reviews really. I evidently wasn't the only patient to receive an incorrect appointment time.....at what cost to the NHS? To cap it all, it cost me £7 to get out of the car park ( should only have been an extortionate£3.50 but I had to sit and wait through no fault of my own). The following Monday, I received a phone call telling me that I had missed my appointment ...when I explained what had happened, the caller said " oh...nice of someone to let us know"....meaning me, I think. Well hello... I didn't have anything to do with that appointment so maybe it was someone else's responsibility to cancel it ??

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Responses

Response from Hereford County Hospital

On behalf of the Wye Valley NHS Trust we thank you for your comments with reference to your appointment in the Maxillo-Facial Department here at the County Hospital. In order for us to investigate your concerns please can you contact the Patient Experience Team on 01432 372986. Patient Experience Team

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